I longed to order it before I took to the sky, hopscotching the clouds back to Georgia from California. Fate didn’t cooperate, even though I wanted Corral’s autograph, in spite of my recent decision not to stock personal bookshelves, as I’m a Kindle girl now. Yet undefeated, I remained easy, remembering that I’m also a working Goddess with the power to summon the slim, black volume, with slithering, coiled lighting adorning its cover, to me.
If I ever came upon such a scaly sight, my breath might just vanish like a slow lightening strike, but the magic between this book’s jet covers, I know, would revive and save me. Blessed be the restorative power of words…
I am blogging tonight so I opened it and fluttered its pages to baptize myself in the awe of Corral’s poetry, and this is what snatched me to attention, butterfly soft, demanding I light on a stage of a page from which I could not look away.
“ALL THE TREES OF THE FIELD SHALL CLAP THEIR HANDS
Josefa Segovia was tried, convicted & hanged on July 5, 1851, in Downieville, California, for killing an Anglo miner, a man who the day before had assaulted her.”
I read the emotive poem. I gasped. I sighed. It was unnecessary to read further. Having been raped, twice, by Black men, I, instantaneously, knew Josefa Segovia, and although I knew not her choice, I closed the book to save it for another silent night or a sacred morning in which I could read more and witness all the pieces of myself settle comfortably on a sofa for the experience. The IV from this book to my soul already energizes me; somehow it knows I will seek it and it me in the ensuing days. And when we meet again, like Keith Sweat, I will make it last. Not wanting to gulp Corral’s electric imagery and colorful culture mentally, but to sip it sensually, holding each poem on my heart like a memory I must never forget.
EDUARDO C. CORRAL’s poems have appeared in New England Review, Ploughshares, and Poetry, as well as other journals and anthologies. He received a Discovery/The Nation award and was selected for residencies at the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. He’s a recipient of a 2011 Whiting Writers’ Award.